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< Headlights 2014

This wiki is a historic snapshot of the Webizen Task Force home page, with content developed between March and June 2014.

As of July 2014, the new task force is developing a proposal in the Webizen wiki.'

The essence of the proposed Webizen program is to provide a way for individuals to obtain some benefits, possibly in exchange for a nominal fee. This task force will explore whether such a program is viable and, if so, the set of benefits.


  • Open and public: This task force is open to the public and will operate until June 2014. Come and build the Webizen program!
  • e-mail: We welcome feedback on the public-webizen@w3.org mailing list archive
  • IRC: irc.w3.org, port 6665, channel #webizen ([1] Pre-filled Web interface to IRC]).
  • Twitter: W3C_Webizen


At TPAC 2013, in response to a question from the floor (search for “individual membership“), the W3C Director requested exploration of individual participation in W3C. The current proposal, for a "Webizen" mode of participation, addresses this request. Note, the Webizen program is not a Membership program, although it should provide certain benefits and privileges. The idea of the program is to allow individuals to affiliate with the Web standards community by establishing a new designation of Webizen. This is not a Membership benefit and does not confer W3C Membership rights. Instead, we seek to make available a new means to congregate as a community.

To make it a meaningful gesture, a token fee of e.g. $100 US per annum (or equivalent in another currency) is suggested. To make this a fair request, a key design goal is to create a package of benefits which arguably are worth $100. We intend to establish a sliding-scale fee to enable greater global participation. At the same time, the program must not lose money, so we must design the benefits accordingly.

Problem Statement

This section enumerates problem(s) this proposal is designed to address:

  • @TBD


  • Attract more stakeholders to the W3C community, including those who care greatly about the Web even if they may not be spec writers
  • Increase affiliation with W3C for this set of stakeholders
  • Get closer linkages between W3C spec writers, and the vast ecosystem that relies on W3C Recommendations
  • Increase general public review of web technology in general and W3C Reports
  • Provide a means for the general public to influence W3C agenda and priorities

Issues and Questions

  • Are Webizens granted the right to participate in a Working Group or Interest Group? No. The Invited Experts (IE) program already provides a mechanism for individuals to participate in one of these groups (without a fee).
  • Does a Webizen have the right to participate in the Advisory Committee?
  • Should some subset of Webizens be able to participate in the Advisory Committee?
  • Instead of creating a new program, why not re-use (for example expand) the 'W3C Supporters' program to achieve the goals?
  • What specific set of benefits are granted to a Webizen?
  • Rather than grant a set of benefits to a Webizen, why not simply create a Donate type button that permits a person to contribute money to the Consortium and thereby the benefit is the ability to contribute help fund the Consortium?
    • This would be similar to other non-profit organizations (like the Nature Conservancy or World Wildlife Fund that provide a mechanism to contribute to the organization.
  • Why are Community Groups not sufficient to meet (at least part of) the goals of this proposed program?
  • What should be the name of this program? (See the Webizen/Name wiki for various proposals.)

Agreed Benefits

  • @TBD

Proposed Benefits

A key question for the task force is to define a package of benefits that would be meaningful for some number of Webizens, yet not overly costly for W3C nor detract from Membership benefits.

Suggestions include:

  • Webizen Electoral College
    • For every N individual members (where N x the cost of individual membership is > affiliate membership) one "Webizen" seat opens up on the AC. And every year or two, all Webizens votes to elect their representatives.
    • See the Webizen/Voting wiki for more information about voting
  • Invitation to teleconference organized once annually by the CEO for a discussion of W3C's activities and plans.
  • Webizen ID number.
    • This number could be used as a virtual identity and services could leverage this over time. There could be a physical ID card if anyone wants one.
  • Public profile on the W3C website.
  • A "flourish" next to where name appears in Community Group and Working Group list of participants.
  • Name listed on our Supporters page (with # years).
  • Annual Webizen T-shirt. (tentative design example)
    • Participate in annual T-shirt design competition
    • Many will not want another T-shirt or are happy to pick it up at a conference. For now we are calling this an optional benefit with a possibility of asking the Webizen to cover shipping, unless (s)he has a way to pick it up.
  • Stickers, mug, other 'goodies'.
  • Discounts of W3C services of interest to individuals; such as W3C Validator Suite and certain conference fees.
  • Voice in a Webizen Blog (moderated by Webizens Reps) linked from W3C blog. Since the Webizen Reps have write access to the W3C blog (see below), there is also a means for the views of Webizens to be advanced to the AC blog.
    • -1 from chaals: "I would consider offering people the chance to publish stuff on the official W3C blog. And warn them that this means it has to be good enough."
  • A two hours welcoming session via conference call to explain how W3C work, and what are webizen rights, and raise questions (conducted on a semester basis, in the 3 timeslot regions)

Proposed Intermediate or Longer-term benefits

  • Creating user groups. W3C is vendor-dominated and we imagine that many Webizens might want to influence Web technologies in core issues of APIs, as well as UI design.
  • Best practice discussions, webinars, luncheons
  • User conferences
  • Providing @w3.org email addresses as vanity addresses and emails for those that want them.
    • In that case, IDs should use handles / short names (nicks) instead of long ID numbers.

Note: If W3C is putting together a local event, it should not be limited to Webizen participation. But there might be a fee for general public and either free or discounted entry for Webizens. We want to remain open to as many people as possible (and mixing Webizens and potential Webizens sounds useful).

Non Benefits

It is already possible (without a fee) to have appropriate individuals participate in W3C Working Groups as Invited Experts (IEs). Hence for WGs, extending participation to Webizens is not necessary. It would deprecate existing IEs, and possibly ask them to suddenly pay a fee. Further, there are potential patent issues.

Webizen voting in the AC

For information (f.ex. proposals) regarding Webizen voting in the Advisory Committee, see the Webizen Voting wiki.

Drafting a Webizen network structure

In order to favor local *and* international community development, in addition to belong to a global community, W3C Offices should also track Webizens in their geography. Existing W3C offices are available http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Offices/staff. When joining a webizen would choose an office (the one he or she wants) and thus would be associated with that local life. This would help them be knowledgeable of local symposia, workshops, discussions, etc. about web technology. The local offices structure could be used later for a regional based organization and voting fragmenting reference.

Question: What does it mean in practice for a Webizen to be associated with an Office?

Program Name

For a list of proposed names for the proposed Webizen program, see the Webizen Name wiki.

Marketing and Communications

No one really knows if this is a good idea. If we choose to launch it, we would do so without much broad advertising. We would start with modest targets for participation and a modest package of benefits. If the idea gets traction with the community and gets many participants, we can expand the activities later.

A comm plan would be some percentage of the Webizen program income, e.g. 8%

Webizen Messaging

Community Development

  • Find 25 people who will be the initial Webizens and promote the launch through their channels
  • Early adopter benefits (for first 200 Webizens)
    • Discount? [not supported at 2014-05-12 meeting]
    • Special early adopter T-shirt
    • Urge them to promote their participation
  • An alternative to providing discounts for early adopters, we discussed the possibility of giving an even better benefit - better than money - ownership of the low-order Webizen ID numbers. As soon as this was proposed, we had bids.
    • Jeff Jaffe: A very low number, but willing to defer if it helps attracts others
    • David Larlet: a very low number
    • Sébastien Desbenoit: 000000000000017
    • Ralph Swick: 27
    • Coralie Mercier: 000000000000042
    • Jean-Charles Verdié: 000000000000051
    • Karl Dubost: 000000000000069
    • Andrei Sambra: 000000000000007

Visual identity

  • Overall program, the essence of being a webizen
  • Badges (for Webizens and Webizen representatives)
  • Badge usage policy (e.g., licenses, derivative works, etc.)

Web site

  • Leverages visual identity
  • Content
    • What the program is about
    • List of benefits
    • How to become a Webizen
    • List of Webizens, highlighting representatives
    • How representatives are elected, and schedule for election
    • List of communications channels (e.g., for news and events)
    • FAQ (e.g., relation to Membership)

Estimated cost with visual design: $15-$20K

w3.org updates

  • W3C homepage
  • Participate page
  • Add link to footer of new site
  • Add link to left column of home page in dev section
  • Add link from validator home page, unicorn home page

W3C Notification

  • Home page news story announcing program
  • Initial blog post (Jeff?)
  • Announcement to Membership
  • W3C twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn channels
    • LinkedIn showcase page?
  • We do not anticipate a press release since we think social media channels will be more effective for this news

Notification via partners

  • All initial Webizens
  • A List Apart
  • Web Directions
  • ParisWeb
  • Web Visions
  • Webby Awards
  • @timberners_lee, @webplatform, @w3cmemes, @slightlylate (Alex Russell, who asked about indiv. membership at TPAC 2013), @parisweb, @openwebgroup, @stshank, @whiteafrican, Lea Verou, Brian Kardell
  • W3C alums
  • W3C Members
  • Others?

Concept & pitch

Note: Start work on a manifesto (credo) before working on pitch; synergies might arise.

Ideas of pitch:

  • "Take your place at the W3C table."
  • "Help ensure Web standards meet your needs."
  • "Not just a Websumer, I'm a Webizen."

Operational questions

  • The Webizen task force must look at operational costs: fee processing, database recording, mailing lists, costs of benefits, etc. to ensure that this low-revenue operation does not cost too much.
  • International and global issues
  • Accessibility
  • Who on the team would actually do the necessary tasks

Past discussion notes:


  • Organise design competition for annual t-shirt.
  • Can it be managed by a third party (budget needs to take that into account)?

Funds usage - internal to W3C

Revenue from the Webizen program will be used to offset the costs of the Webizen program. Any excess revenues will be made available for general W3C funds, rather than earmarked to a particular function or location.


How do I participate in a working group

Q: As a Webizen, how do I participate in a W3C Working Group?

A1: If you are an employee of a member company, ask your AC representative to add you to the working group.

A2: If you are an individual not employed by a member company:

Most working groups work publicly with a public mailing list that anybody can join.

In practice nearly all working groups are resource constrained for their work. Thus working groups are incentivized to recognize capable public individual participants and offer them invited expert status in the group to help with working group tasks.

In particular, take the following steps:

  1. Join the IRC channel and public mailing list of the working group (WG)
  2. Participate in good faith in IRC and the mailing list, and help out e.g. by:
    • documenting specific real world use-cases they think the WG should solve
    • pointing out errors/issues/improvements in specs
    • contributing test cases for WG technologies
    • provide helpful answers and responses to various questions raised

In practice, individuals that have shown up and consistently positively participated in this manner have been invited to become invited experts in many working groups, e.g. CSS. Often this invitation occurs by a WG chair or other member getting to know the individual, advocating for them inside the working group, and then reaching a consensus decision to invite the individual.

Administrative section

Task Force led by: Jeff Jaffe <jeff@w3.org>


  • Jeff Jaffe
  • Coralie Mercier
  • Veronica Thom
  • Alexandre Bertails
  • Amy van der Hiel
  • Ann Bassetti
  • Andrei Sambra
  • chaals
  • JC Verdie
  • Robin Berjon
  • Virginie Galindo
  • Sébastien Desbenoit
  • Mark Sadecki


  • October 2013 - January 2014: Proposals from W3C Members and Staff added to this page
  • Jan 2014: W3C management prioritization of headlights ideas
  • Feb 2014: Announcement of topics selected for further development and start of task forces
  • 7 March: People are encouraged to join the task forces by this date.
  • 10 March - June: Task forces develop ideas
  • 8-10 June 2014: AC meeting discussion
  • June-July 2014: Further development
  • July 2014: W3M evaluation of proposals and assignment of resources

Meeting records and actions

[no actions, edits welcome in existing sections of the wiki]

  • 2014-05-05
    • [done] Coralie to work with Sébastien on commenting in wiki on "zen" connotation in "Name" section of the wiki
    • [done] Ann to update the "Name" section in the wiki, to add a note on "sparkle"
    • (Jeff?) We should let the constituents of the Web decide, rather than imposing a voting mechanism.
  • 2014-04-10
    • [done] koalie to align pitch phrases with goals as stated in section created today
    • [done] koalie to get W3C Offices to identify likely candidates and seek their reaction
    • (Carried from past meeting) Veronica to update wiki (discounts proposal)
  • 2014-03-27 11:00 am (ET)
    • [done] Jeff to elaborate on how elections should be done (college)
    • [done] Veronica to socialise her proposal further and update wiki (discounts)
  • 2014-03-20
    • [recurrent] Coralie to bring to Ted's attention any new proposed benefit that involves systeam and seek his opinion on feasability (1) and cost (2)
    • [done] Jeff to write a proposal to write up what an electoral college would look like.
    • [done]Veronica to figure what sort of discounts level to devcampus, VS etc. are high-enough to attract people, but not high-enough that they give the services away.
  • 2014-03-10
    • [done] Coralie to come up with comm plan for low-key start of webizen program.
    • [done] Coralie to create a wiki.
    • [done] Coralie to nudge Ted about systeam aspects of Webizen. (Minutes, key points)
    • [done] Veronica to draft a proposal of what kind of discounts a Webizen program would confer.